Now Only $10.00!
Had you been sitting in close proximity to me, you might have thought I just had an unpleasant reaction to soured milk as I read the instructions for my final Writer's Digest assignment, which read: “Write an original work of fiction or non-fiction up to 3,600 words-15 typed, double-spaced pages. It can be a collection of short-short stories or it can be the opening chapters of a novel or book”
Now I'm screwed, I thought. After two years of study and hard work, there was no way I could complete this last assignment. I didn't have it in me, not a clue! However, determination and my paid tuition inspired me to forge ahead. Following guidelines, I began to construct the foundation of my story starting with a place or backdrop around which my story could build. I decided to use the type of company where I was working on assignment as a receptionist. An interesting place where several facets of the design world came together and functioned within one company. Although bored with my work, or the lack thereof, I let my creative and mischievous mind begin to wonder and thought . . . what if ?
Slowly, one by one, the ideas came and the characters took their places at the table bringing their own special individual touches and personalities. The plot formed, and before I knew it, the plot thickened and the story began to take on a life of its own and ceased to be a perplexing writing assignment. Instead, it consumed my every waking moment—sitting at the computer for hours on end—unwashed, unkempt and hungry.
Finally, it was finished—and then my clunky old computer crashed. I cried like a baby. But, after a computer overhaul, and several drafts, rewrites, editing and proofreading I found I had given birth to a serious piece of fiction, sprinkled with a little humor and flavored with factual subjects and true-life experiences.
I'm a genius!
(Adams, Pendergast and Raab)
Now Only $10.00!
More Juicy “Factual” Tid-Bits:
The premise for the Prologue, based on two unwed teen mothers, came from a personal experience when my roommate and I went into labor, just minutes apart.
The first Epigraph “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive” is an excerpt from a larger work by Sir Walter Scott's Poem titled, Marmiom. The poem is about war and a young warrior named Lochinvar, (Cantos 6; Stanza 17). This fact was not known when the famous quote was initially selected, but I found it a fitting statement to paraphrase the ensuing havoc that was to beset the Pendergast household, and ultimately the kidnapper.
Facts about the Golden Mask of King Agamemnon were found in a Reader's Digest Book “How Did It Really Happen?” Further research led to the discovery of a Greek Island named, Rhodes, which also happens to be my maternal grandfather's last name. His first name, Alexander, is also of Greek origin. (hmmm)
And finally, at a time when I, along with fellow citizens across the nation and around the world, was shaken by the tragic events of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath, from out of that chaos, uncertainty and fear came the name of the story's kidnap victim, Zoe . . . a Greek name that means life and hope. I often wondered, whose hand was guiding me?
I hope my readers find APR's Back-Story interesting and an encouraging source of inspiration for novice writers who might be thinking they can't do it . . . stay positive!